Judge adjourns to consider cricket score

The judge hearing the case of a man seeking to have his house safeguarded from cricket balls yesterday heard that 200 villagers had signed a petition in support of cricket continuing on the green.

Angela Murray told Slough county court that David and Rosa- Marie Lacey, the couple taking civil action against the club at Jordans, Buckinghamshire, were not the only people to have balls hit into their gardens.

A slate had been knocked off her roof, and she had nearly been hit by a ball. But she said: 'I would not think it is terribly alarming . . . to have a cricket ball come in to your garden. If Mr and Mrs Lacey are that worried about it, I would suggest perhaps they should keep out of their front garden on the odd occasion that cricket is being played.

'I have seen Mr and Mrs Lacey sat in front of the house, watching the cricket or watching for balls . . . they are certainly not lying in the back room cowering for their lives.'

Earlier, Ian Roberts, the club captain, told the court that he always identified three properties to opposing captains. 'In all instances I say that the ball must not be retrieved from those properties. I then ask the captains to instruct their players to avoid hitting the ball there and request that the bowlers they use are not ones that are going to encourage shots to go there.'

In his final address, Richard Lord, counsel for the cricket club, said that Mr Lacey was prone to exaggeration. He also said Mr Lacey had been aware of the cricket being played in the village and had still chosen to buy a house on the green.

Judge Nigel Hague adjourned the hearing for a reserved judgment, to be given at a later date.